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May 02, 2012
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A Bulldog puppy's wrinkles are usually shallow and easy to keep clean.
When you think of the words "wrinkle care," the first thing that might come to mind is a special heat cycle on your clothes dryer. If your heart has been stolen by a bulldog, however, you owe it to your furrowed friend to learn everything you can about the special grooming that this delightful breed requires to stay happy and healthy. While your bully has a short coat that generally needs minimal care, when it comes to the folds around the face, the bulldog's beauty is more than just skin deep. There are health issues that can arise if the wrinkles in your bulldog's face are not properly and routinely cleansed. Always consult your veterinarian for your bulldog health needs.
Your bulldog's sagging skin and undershot jaw gives them that adorable, concerned expression. But deep inside those wrinkles, moisture can accumulate and create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This infection-prone area can quickly evolve into a condition known as fold dermatitis. The wrinkles in your bulldog's face must be cleansed regularly and dried thoroughly to ensure the skin stays healthy. It's easier to use preventative care than to undergo diagnostics and medical treatment for skin diseases, which can be costly, painful and time consuming.
For routine care, use a warm washcloth free of shampoo or soap to remove buildup, saliva or food from the wrinkles. You can also use a baby wipe with lanolin and aloe. Glide the cloth gently in, through and around the wrinkles, paying special attention to the deep nose wrinkles on the top and side of your bully's head while avoiding the eye area. If your vet advises, use a soap or shampoo. Mostly likely they'll recommend a gentle soap with germicidal properties that can be purchased from your vet or pet store. After the application of soap or shampoo, rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of residue. Dry your bully's wrinkles with a soft, dry cloth. For extra protection against moisture, use cornstarch, baby powder or a specialty grooming powder in the wrinkles.
If you begin cleaning your bulldog's wrinkles when your bully is still a pup, they'll get used to the grooming process quickly. As your bulldog gets older, the wrinkles may become deeper and problems may occur with more frequency. According to certified veterinary technician Kimm Wuestenberg, dogs with skin folds should be wiped at least once a day while Bulldog Voice.com says it's better to clean your bulldog's face wrinkles more than you think you should. The frequency in which you clean your dog's face wrinkles really depends on your dog. For example, if your dog is a messy eater or water slurper, you may want to wipe immediately after eating or drinking. Overweight dogs are at greater risk of developing a skin infection because the excess fat makes the wrinkles more pronounced. Only you can tell if your bulldog's face wrinkles require more attention and care.
Fold dermatitis symptoms include excessive moisture in the wrinkles, a foul odor, and redness of the skin or discharge from the folds. If your bulldog is suffering from fold dermatitis, the Merck Veterinary Manual advises to clip the hair so you can access the skin, then clean the folds one or two times each day with a mild skin cleanser or with a product containing benzoyl peroxide. Dry the folds thoroughly with a towel or a blow dryer set on a cool temperature, and then apply a topical diaper rash cream to the area. See your veterinarian first, however, to make sure this treatment is effective and safe for your pet. Deep skin infections also respond well to medical treatment such as topical steroids, or oral or topical antibiotics prescribed by your vet, according to Wuestenberg.
The Merck Veterinary Manual: Lip Fold Dermatitis and CheilitisChamp Bulldogs: English Bulldog CareEnglish Bulldog Savvy: English Bulldog Care - Cleansing Skin FoldsBulldog Voice: WrinklesClinical Small Animal Care: Promoting Patient Health through Preventative Nursing; Kimm Wuestenberg
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